Copyright by Brian Howard Seibert
THE BYZANTINE TREATY OF 911
Four years after the Treaty of 907, Hraerik and Oddi once more led a fleet against the Romans. This time Prince Ivar was old enough to accompany them. At first, Price Hraerik and Princess Eyfura felt their son was too young to go, but he reminded them that his brother, Oddi, had participated in the Battle of Constantinople when he was his age. Heavily armed longships accompanied the spring throng of merchants heading for trade in Constantinople. The longships waited on the Sea of Marmara while the merchant ships carried on with their trade in the city. The full Roman fleet was home and on manoeuvres around the Golden Horn, so there was much belching of Greek fire and a number of target ships were burned in warning. Prince Ivar witnessed first-hand the courage that would have been required to attack a fire breather as his father and grandfather had. The standoff carried on for several weeks until, eventually, a large number of Hraes’ merchants and sailors were released from Greek custody.
The previous year’s trade had been marked by numerous storms on the Bosporus and the Black Sea and a number of Hraes’ merchant ships sank or broke up on reefs and many of the survivors had been captured and enslaved by the Greeks and forced to row in the bellies of Byzantine biremes. So, the Byzantine-Hraes’ Treaty of 907 became a fuller, more encompassing Treaty of 911 that included maritime laws protecting the rights of stranded and injured sailors and merchants of any nation. Strand laws more favourable to those being shipwrecked were implemented, as well as mutual laws in the handling of crimes.